Posted: Monday, January 15, 2018
Highlights, Takeaways, Quick Wins
- Turn self-initiated projects into a tangible thing.
- Work with the end in mind.
My upcoming book Sketchy Advice (from God) drops very soon (Tuesday, February 14, 2018) and it was a result of a 31-day illustration challenge.
Turn self-initiated projects into a tangible thing
When I decided to start the challenge I knew that it had the potential to be something that could repurpose and turn into a tangible object or product. I had done it before with Icons of Horror: Inktober 2016. I think illustration challenges are fun as an exercise, but I think it’s a missed opportunity to not turn the final illustrations into a tool, resource, or product.
At the time I had just joined an online Sermon Sketchnote Community and the month of May has the National Day of Prayer, so challenging myself to illustrate something biblical was top of mind.
The most obvious thing was to illustrate an excerpt of a proverb every day with the corresponding chapter (i.e. day one of the challenge would be something from Proverbs 1, day two would be Proverbs 2, etc). There are 31 days in May and 31 chapters in the Book of Proverbs so to me it kept it simple.
After illustrating day one I saw that if I kept up with the challenge this could turn into a resource and tool for people who are looking for another way to make their study of the Bible easier to grasp by utilizing their visual way of thinking. The majority of people think visually and recall things visually so I had a feeling this could be really useful for people.
Work with the end in mind
There is something about knowing that people are going to see your artwork that makes you try a little bit harder. It’s kinda like the difference between practicing your instrument alone versus playing in front of an audience; you will naturally try your hardest when people are watching.
This challenge was really for me to practice sketchnoting; to improve my speed, visualizing concepts, and memorizing more of what the Bible says. However, after the first day and knowing that I had the idea of making it into a resource for people to use I started drawing a little more intentionally and made sure not to be lackadaisical in my execution. The style is still rough, because that is the nature of what sketchnotes should be, but I still wanted to make sure my illustrations were good and my lettering was easy to read.
Knowing this was going this was going to be a resource that I was going to make available definitely elevated how I approached the artwork. It also helped me be more intentional with technical aspects like making sure elements were large enough to print when reduced for reproduction and consistent sizing so it could be formatted later into a layout program.
Repurposing artwork is a great way to work smarter and not harder.